Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What's Wrong with My Daughter?

What's Wrong with My Daughter?
By Diane
Desperate to Find the Reason For Her Behavior
I had the most amazing daughter for 18 years. She was a beautiful child. Everyone loved her and she loved everyone. She was so happy that she smiled when she slept. She was a straight-A student and although she had ADHD, it only seemed to enhance her life. Even as a teenager, she was delightful with none of the rebelliousness or drug use most parents dread.
When she turned 18, however, something changed. It seemed to happen overnight. Her behavior became erratic, sparking explosive fights with her boyfriend. It still wasn't presenting so much at home, so I chalked it up to him. It couldn't be her.
Little by little she changed. She drifted away from us. This girl who once idolized her mother, suddenly couldn't stand me. She started drinking more, getting tattoos, and became someone I just did not recognize. I remember telling my friend I felt like my Shauna had died and this strange new girl had replaced her. I was heartbroken.
The week she was breaking up with her boyfriend of one year, screaming at him that she despised him right in front of me, she became pregnant. Then she became so happy. She decided to stay with the guy. My grandson is now two-years-old. My daughter expressed anger over my not being present when he was born. Everyone used to make such a big deal about how close we were. They were envious.
In my wildest dreams I never would have imagined how she could get so angry at me in an instant, and go for weeks without speaking to me. I would tear my hair out trying to figure out the reason. Was it me? Did I deserve this?
I finally put it all together after an especially rough week. She had exploded in her husband’s restaurant and made a huge scene because she thought the staff was purposely ignoring her. She dragged her sick son out into freezing weather to make her husband pay for not responding to her texts, and she completely melted down at my house because she was furious at me for serving her brother dinner at his computer. She was so mad she dragged her son back out into the cold and went home to the husband she was also angry with.
I finally started Googling her symptoms—paranoia, extreme anger, fear of being alone, intense anxiety—and finally I had it: borderline personality disorder. It fit all the criteria. I just could not believe it took so long. All these years of anguish. I could see now how families would go through this and never know the reason, how someone with borderline personality disorder would go on endlessly being undiagnosed. I could not believe that for all the Oprah and Dr. Phil I watched, that this had never come up. It’s tragic that there isn't more awareness about this type of mental illness.
Trying to compress ten years into words, it is comforting to finally have an explanation for the very extreme behavior I experienced with my daughter. It is my mission to share this information so that other families don't have to guess for ten years about their loved one’s unusual behavior. It should not have to be so difficult.

No comments:

Post a Comment